• Daniel Wretham

Finding & Photographing Poppies

Updated: May 18, 2020

Once again its that time of year when we all go crazy chasing Poppies, that most elusive but beautiful mistress that takes so much of our time and effort but is worth every second.

Poppy field, Dorset Poppies, Sunset poppies, Dorset poppy locations

So its been a while, some of you have been asking where i've been as I used to blog almost weekly and there has been a 6 month gap since that last happened !

Well, to cut a long story short I haven't been very well and have been dealing with getting myself better and back out there, also with a bit of a loss of landscape photography mojo to tell the truth.

My last blog touched on this subject and you will probably all know my feelings on it.

The end result is I have managed probably only two or three trips out since January, a couple of which were to the beloved Brecon Beacons which started the seeds growing to get back to the great outdoors.

I have shot poppies for upwards of eight years so really by now I should probably leave them alone but you just cant beat that rush of searching high and low for them and just when all seems hopeless you go over the next hill and there they are like a sea of red just waiting to pose for your camera.

It really is one of the most rewarding ways to spend with you camera, and when you get it right the shots will bring you back to that emotion every time.

Poppy field, Dorset Poppies, Sunset poppies, Dorset poppy locations

So I started off having a look around in early June to see what was about, Once you see the road side poppies starting to bloom then the fields are generally a week to two weeks away from doing the same.

Poppies are very strange flowers because a field that was covered in them last year wont have a single one in it the next, it can be very frustrating.

The fact is poppy seeds can lay dormant in the ground for an almost permanent length of time.

In fact poppy seeds that were found at the burial site of Tutankhamin in Egypt were planted and successfully grew perfect flowers, and they were put there around 1323 BC so it gives you some insight into this most wondrous of flowers.

Poppies have a habbit of returning to the same field in a three year cycle, its not an exact science but I have seen it several times and tend to find out the same fields will produce if the conditions are right on that time scale.

So where do you start ?

For me there has always been two tactics when searching for poppies, drive and get up high.

I did roughly 500 miles of driving in two weeks looking for poppies and 250 of those was just in one weekend but it paid off and I found three different poppy fields so far. Effort equals reward.

You can of course just ask someone who has found them, they might well help you or they might not, after all they have put the hard work in and don't wish to give it away to someone who hasn't then that is their prerogative.